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Syndication

Interview Wednesday's continues with the International Marine Conservation Congress Series where I had the chance to interview a number of people who are involved in Marine Science and Conservation. 

We had the chance to interview Dr. Asha DeVos from Sri Lanka for a second time at the conference to tell her story of how she became a Marine Biologist; what she thinks of the field; and, how she thinks people should approach getting into the field of Marine Conservation. All in all this was a great interview.

Not just because it was our 200th episode (thanks for listening by the way); not just because Asha is an amazing person to interview because of her story, her optimistic attitude, and her outgoing personality; but, because this interview was a collaborative effort between Speak Up For Blue and the IMCCs Ocean Optimism Team Marriane Teoh and Liza Hoos.

Ocean Optimism (#OceanOptimism) is an initiative that started from IMCC 3 in Scotland where members decided that they wanted to focus on communicating more positive stories to show that there is still hope for the Ocean and focus less on the "doom and gloom" style of communication because the public can't handle it after a while.

Marianne and I worked together at the conference to interview a few guests together to maximize time and get the guests to discuss different stories about their experiences including the negative and the positive.

The interview was conducted by Speak Up For Blue's Nathan Johnson and Marianne Teoh to get Asha's story out there in the podcast world. I was conducting a workshop during this time at the conference so I put my trust in these great people who did an amazing job!

Asha is an inspiration to all Marine Conservationists and is educating people to build a Marine Conservation literacy to live for a better ocean (sound familiar? Hint: it's what we are trying to do here at Speak Up For Blue!).

Listen to Dr. Asha DeVos talk about her career, her Ocean Optimism, and how she thinks we can be more effective in Marine Conservation.

 

Do you want to talk about how you can pursue a career in Marine Conservation? Send me an email and let's chat.

andrew@speakupforblue.com

Because I want to talk to you!

Join the Arbonne Blue Team

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Instagram: @speakupforblue

Snapchat: @speakupforblue

SUFB Podcast: http://www.speakupforblue.com/podcast

SUFB Website: http://www.speakupforblue.com

10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean: http://www.speakupforblue.com/wordpress/sufb_optinpdf

  

Direct download: SUFB_S200_StudyingBlueWhalePoopWithAshaDeVos.mp3
Category:Asha DeVos -- posted at: 7:13am EDT

Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to chat with a number of people inquiring over switching their career to one in Marine Science and Conservation. Usually, the people are ranging in age between 30-50 and working in a business/finance field and they just don't find that the their career offers anything of meaning in their lives. They tend to be searching for something where they can create a positive change in the world. These are the people I love to talk to because I know they can offer the Marine Science and Conservation field a great advantage with their unique skills set.

Some of you might know that I focus part of Speak Up For Blue on helping people attain a career in Marine Science and Conservation. Most of the people that I help are young, recent graduates who don't know where to begin in their search for a job, let alone building their career. They are also great people to talk to and help as many of them have science backgrounds and looking to do research, monitoring, ect.

However, the people between the ages of 30-50 who are switching their careers from business/finance are a key player in Marine Science and Conservation field. I like these people because they provide a unique set of skills and a different mindset on how to approach and project. They are similar to the young science graduates in that they don't know where to begin searching for a career and often think that they have to go back to school to become a marine biologist. This thought process tends to impede people from thinking of switching careers. This is the time where I step in. 

I always tell people that they don't need to be a scientist to be effective in Marine Science and Conservation. It takes a lot of time and money to invest in becoming a marine scientist. There are enough marine scientists in the world. What you need is to figure out how your skill set that you offer will help the field. 

If you search the high level positions in non-profit organizations you will find that the Executive Directors, Program Managers and all of the other high level positions, you will find that they consist of lawyers, business people, entrepreneurs, financial people, etc. Those high level positions are attainable and your skill set may fit the description.

If you are searching for a Marine Science and Conservation and you are between the ages of 30-50 years old and you are in a different field, then email me at:

andrew@speakupforblue.com

Because I want to talk to you!

Tune into the episode to find out more information.

 

Join the Arbonne Blue Team

http://www.speakupforblue.com/teamblue

Instagram: @speakupforblue

Snapchat: @speakupforblue

SUFB Podcast: http://www.speakupforblue.com/podcast

SUFB Website: http://www.speakupforblue.com

10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean: http://www.speakupforblue.com/wordpress/sufb_optinpdf


Marine Education is a way of building resilient Oceans for the future. You would think that anyone living along an Ocean's coast would know more about the Ocean than someone who lived inland; however, that is not always the case. There are cultural stigmas that often exist within coastal communities. For instance, Nikita Shiel-Rolle, a marine biologist in the Bahamas, said that many Bahamians cannot swim even though they live close to the shore. 

I sat down with Nikita at the International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John's, Newfoundland earlier this month to discuss how she is breaking stigmas and barriers by empowering local school kids through marine education and exploration of the shores by which they are growing up. 

Nikita's story is a great one where she speaks about leaving her country to come to Canada for school as her parents' number one focus was on education. She had to come to Canada to get her education, but now she has come home to teach the next provides the chance for the next generation to become inspired through exploring their beautiful shores and become marine stewards of the future.

She has not only provided the above, but she has also shown her students the wonders of learning science and math, which is translating into increased success in schools to which the graduation rate will increase from 50%. 

Enjoy getting to know Nikita, who by the way is just an AMAZING person!

Check out the Young Marine Explorer's Website: http://www.ymebahamas.org/index.html

Learn more about Nikita Shiel-Rolle: http://www.shielrolle.com/blog.html

Join the Arbonne Blue Team

http://www.speakupforblue.com/teamblue

Instagram: @speakupforblue

Snapchat: @speakupforblue

SUFB Podcast: http://www.speakupforblue.com/podcast

SUFB Website: http://www.speakupforblue.com

10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean: http://www.speakupforblue.com/wordpress/sufb_optinpdf

Direct download: SUFB_S198_OceanYouthEducationWithNikitaShielRolle.mp3
Category:marine education -- posted at: 8:47am EDT

 The current model for marine conservation funding is flawed because scientists and conservationists cannot fund for their infrastructure anymore. They can only fund based on projects and results. As usual, some organizations took advantage of the old funding model and results were not received by the foundations so everyone now suffers.

Project based funding coupled with more organizations seeking funding impedes everyone from sharing money and only certain organizations, government departments and academics get funded well. 

Individuals and organizations are searching for ways by which they can raise funds to follow their passions and protect the ocean the best way they know how. These ways many not fit with missions for many organizations, so they tend not to get funded by foundations and other grantees. 

The individuals and organizations are turning to the web to raise funds through crowdfunding. I cover a few examples of crowdsource funding initiatives by some individuals to help get their campaigns out there (and hopefully their work will get you to contribute) and raise awareness that crowdsourcing is a great funding opportunity for many people and organizations within the Marine Conservation Field.

I discuss the following campaigns:

Andrew David Thaler - https://www.patreon.com/andrew-thaler

Wallace J. Nichols - https://www.patreon.com/wallacejnichols

David Shiffman - https://experiment.com/projects/what-are-the-feeding-habits-of-threatened-sharks

Craig McClain - https://experiment.com/projects/wood-is-it-what-s-for-dinner 

Susan R. Eaton - https://www.gofundme.com/susanreaton

 

Join the Arbonne Blue Team

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Instagram: @speakupforblue

Snapchat: @speakupforblue

SUFB Podcast: http://www.speakupforblue.com/podcast

SUFB Website: http://www.speakupforblue.com

10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean: http://www.speakupforblue.com/wordpress/sufb_optinpdf

Direct download: SUFB_S197_MarineConservationFunding.mp3
Category:funding -- posted at: 11:49pm EDT

In the absence of an Ocean Talk Friday, I picked 2 stories that cover some of our favorite topics (Climate Change and Sharks) to discuss.

The first story is about how the US is still divisive on the issue of climate change (ugh!). I talk about the frustrations of hearing arguments against climate change based on a belief system as opposed to adapting to its consequences and reducing our climate change impact.

The second story is about the age of the Greenland Shark. It's old! How old? Well, it's older than Canada and the US! That's old. In fact, it's now considered the oldest vertebrate. Crazy! I talk about how cool it is to find out the age and how the age will dictate management of this species in the face of mounting pressure due to non other than climate change.

Listen to the podcast for more details on both stories.

 

Join the Arbonne Blue Team

http://www.speakupforblue.com/teamblue

Instagram: @speakupforblue

SUFB Podcast: http://www.speakupforblue.com/podcast

SUFB Website: http://www.speakupforblue.com

10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean: http://www.speakupforblue.com/wordpress/sufb_optinpdf


 I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Easkey Britton during the International Marine Conservation Congress at the beginning of August for a 1 one 1 interview to discuss all the cool things that she is doing around the world. 

Easkey describes how a surfing trip to Iran (yes, Iran!) changed the lives of many young Iranians by introducing them to surfing and bringing them together as a community. Surfing was introduced to the community in 2010 and Easkey has gone back for a purposeful visit ever since. The community now surfs and takes care of their connected Ocean.

Surfing also brought Easkey to Papua New Guinea to help build a surfing community and bring together local people. This community is growing stronger everyday by tackling a major issue in the Island Nation of domestic violence. The community painted the tip of their surf boards to show solidarity within their own community as well as show the abusers that their tyranny will not be tolerated. 

Easkey is a person who is dedicated to facilitating social and environmental change through surfing and building close ties to communities. 

 Join the Arbonne Blue Team

http://www.speakupforblue.com/teamblue

Instagram: @speakupforblue

SUFB Podcast: http://www.speakupforblue.com/podcast

SUFB Website: http://www.speakupforblue.com

10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean: http://www.speakupforblue.com/wordpress/sufb_optinpdf

Direct download: SUFB_S195_SurfingToConservationSocialChangeWithEaskeyBritton.mp3
Category:surfing -- posted at: 7:55am EDT

The Marine Conservation community is large and represented from all parts of the Earth. More and more people are entering this wonderful community every day, but they aren’t sure how they can help protect the Ocean to the point that they might give up because the problems are too big and they don’t think they can bring about change. Well, I can’t have that!

So I decided to list these 7 ways that you can help conserve the Ocean to prevent you from being too overwhelmed. There are many other ways that you can help conserve the Ocean, but I feel that these are good beginner steps to getting what you want and feeling good about what you are doing.

Don’t Panic, take a breath

I get many messages from the Speak Up For Blue Podcast audience members after they listen to a show where I describe an issue and send me an email saying that they can’t believe we, as humans, can be so stupid to treat our Oceans the way they do. They are angry and shocked and want to yell at the world! I promptly reply for then to not panic and take a breath. They don’t want to approach people who are doing something to contribute to an Ocean issue aggressively and make that person angry for being called out. This attitude will not change the way people act in their lives or towards the ocean.

Marine Conservation should be conducted in a positive way and provide the chance for people to change their habits. People contribute to Ocean issues without realizing they are doing anything wrong. You and I may be doing something that contributes to the problem every day, but we are unaware. For example, I did an interview with Stu Landesberg, CEO of the Grove Collaborative (formerly epantry), who sold certified eco-friendly cleaning supplies online. He described to me the way products on a store shelf differ from products sent via online purchases. The former has to compete on a shelf with other similar products and they have to last a certain time period on the shelf. The products are often sold in large, bright plastic containers that are not easily recyclable. They also contain chemicals that act as preservatives to ensure the product doesn’t spoil on the shelf. Those chemicals may not be as good for you as you thought (you would be surprised).

The point is we live in a world where we waste and consume products that are not good for us or the environment, including the Oceans. It’s good to understand the issues, but don’t get too caught up in the anger and use that anger to change behaviour for conservation.

Think Globally, act locally

Think Globally, act locally is a term you probably heard bused by many environmentalists around the world. It’s such a cat phrase that often people use it in jokes, but the statement is so very true especially in Ocean Conservation.

After you finish panicking, it’s good to take note of the major Ocean issues that we are facing: Plastic Pollution, Climate Change, Overfishing, Water Quality and Coastal Development are just a few of the major issues we not only face, but cause. Each issue is widespread enough that the consequences extend across the Ocean having a Global impact. Breakdown the problem by thinking how you can act locally that will remedy this problem. For example, decreasing overfishing will require you to eat seafood more sustainably and responsibly to avoid fish that are overfished. The Seafood Watch program will allow you to eat seafood with a conscious as the program is updated frequently to allow you to create informed decisions on your meals. I use my Seafood Watch App for my iPhone to ask the waiter or retailer whether the seafood was caught sustainably. If they don’t know, then I tell them that I don’t want the seafood because they don’t know how it was caught.

Start at home

It’s always good to start conservation at home as there are so many things that we can conserve including energy, water, plastic, and cleaning supplies covering four of the major issues I mention above. Each conservation action requires a change in behaviour by you and your family, but they don’t require a ton of changes. You can even start slowly by reducing the amount of plastic bags used in your home or eliminate plastic utensils from your house. You can buy a digital thermostat to control your heat/air conditioning by setting it at different temps throughout the day to save on energy.

Starting your conservation efforts are small but significant changes that can really reduce your Ocean Issue footprint. It just takes a little time to get used to some of the changes, but once you are in the full swing of things you feel better about yourself.

Become a leader in your community

Your leadership at home can transfer into your community through actions. It is easy to show others that you care about the state of the environment in your community whether you live by the coast or inland. Debris and plastic pollution is quite hi in the spring after the snow melts. This past spring, my wife and two daughters went out to clean a portion of our neighborhood (after the suggestion by my 6 year old daughter). A neighbor or ours loved the plan and her family joined us as well. We spent half an hour cleaning up and the results were spectacular (8 garbage bags!)!

Another neighbor, who we didn’t know, was driving by and asked us what we were doing. He thanked us for cleaning up as he saw the value of our efforts. We never expect people to follow after we clean something up, but we know we are leading by example when we do clean ups like these.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to show your neighbors that you care about your neighborhood, but the reactions are priceless.

Understand that change takes time

Rome wasn’t built in a day nor did the ocean change for the worse in a day, so why do we all think that our efforts will change all of the destruction (or stop the destruction) that we have done to the Ocean in one day. Marine Conservation takes time. Sometimes it takes time to see positive results in the Ocean from changes such as implementing Marine Protected Area and/or it could take time to change people’s behaviour that can cause a specific Ocean Issue to get out of hand.

Marine Conservation requires you to become persistent and patient when trying to change the way people behave (after all, behaviour is usually the problem). Dr. Naomi Rose is a great example of someone who has worked and continues to work hard at Marine Conservation. She works for the Animal Welfare Institute to get captive Orcas and Dolphins released into the wild. We have seen some great strides with captive animals and their road to release over the past year, but people like Naomi are the people who laid the ground work for all of this to happen and she continues to work to get the animals released into Whale Sea-Side Sanctuaries.  

You need to have patience but still be persistent in your quest to change things for the better in the Ocean realm.

Conservation is more than just science

You don’t need to be a scientist to be in Marine Conservation. There are many scientists out there who do some great work, but they would like to do work rather than take most of their time searching for funding. People with a background in finance, business, marketing, law and other non-science backgrounds can really help secure funding for scientific and conservation projects. Tradespeople can also play a crucial role in Marine Conservation. Science and Conservation require equipment to complete their projects so being an electrician, carpenter, plumber and being good with your hands with a creative mind can really come in handy.

Conservation is a discipline that requires all professions and backgrounds to become successful. Never count yourself out and be creative as to how you can help.

Never give up!

Ask Dr. Naomi Rose if she ever found it difficult to do what she does. Conservation is like an emotional roller coaster. It can be very difficult to reach your end goal. There are numerous challenges on the way to overcome to see small rewards. However, they goals can be reached through teamwork and support from other conservationists. The war to release Orcas is not over, but many battles are being won. Passion for the Ocean is what drives us forward and allows us to rise during the tough times.

 

Join the Arbonne Blue Team

http://www.speakupforblue.com/teamblue

Instagram: @speakupforblue

SUFB Podcast: http://www.speakupforblue.com/podcast

SUFB Website: http://www.speakupforblue.com

10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean: http://www.speakupforblue.com/wordpress/sufb_optinpdf

Direct download: SUFB_S194_7WaysYouCanConserveTheOcean.mp3
Category:marine conservation -- posted at: 9:21am EDT

Marine conservation is a wide ranging field in which people all over the world, from various cultural, professional and religious backgrounds take part. Why? It’s because they have a great passion for conserving the Ocean. Regardless of the passion, the field is huge and it can be difficult to find a way that you can “fit in” to the field to make a significant impact in the area you specialize let along in the marine conservation field in general. I still struggle with finding the way I can have a positive influence and build a legacy for my daughters and their generation to continue to build on it and live for a better Ocean. With that said, I feel as though I am close to following that path (after 15 years of searching!) after attending the International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC4).

 

I was excited to attend the IMMC4 conference because I attended IMCC2 four years ago and met some wonderful people. Two and a half years ago, I attended another conference called the Oceans Online Conference, which focused on communication Marine Science and Conservation to the public.  Many of the people at IMCC2 where at Oceans Online and I formed some great business relationships and friendships. The people are the main reason I go to Marine Conservation Conferences. It therefore made sense to me to go to IMCC4 where Oceans Online was going to be held in the same place by IMCC4. This was going to be fun. Working as a Marine Conservationist and Scientist in Ontario gets a bit lonely at times, so I jump on any opportunity to meet with friends and colleagues and I look forward to meeting new people to forge new relationships…and I met some amazing people.

The people that I met were so amazing that I decided to record a podcast and this accompanying blog post about meeting them and how the people inspired me to venture down a path where I can really have a positive influence in the Marine Conservation field. Here are 4 women who helped further inspire me to follow my passion. I must note that all 4 people are women and 3 of the 4 women were plenary speakers (I also think the other woman could have easily been a plenary speaker!).

Dr. Asha de Vos , Marine Mammologist with a Focus on Blue Whale Distribution and Human Impacts

I had the chance to hang out with Asha during the conference even though I missed her plenary talk as I arrived the night she spoke (she spoke earlier in the evening).  I was told by colleagues that very night and throughout the conference that here plenary was “life changing” (so were the other plenary talks). Asha is from Sri Lanka and has her PhD in Marine Biology. It’s not fair to rewrite her entire journey when you can find it on her website; however, I will say that this woman is awesome! Her passion for understanding the distribution and health of a large blue whale population brought her to deal with the Sri Lankan government to reroute shipping lanes in order to avoid ship strikes on whales. The ships were sailing in and out of one of the largest ports in the world and Asha was ready to work with them to protect the environment and promote tourism opportunities to view blue whales (the largest animal on the planet!).  Working with government and trying to reroute shipping lanes took her down a challenging path including death threats because people thought she was trying to shut the port down (which was not true); discrimination; and, sexism. Regardless of the challenges, Asha says she continues to work to understand and protect the iconic blue whale species because we have to protect them, there is no other way around it!

Nikita Sheil-Rolle, Marine Biologist working with students to educate them on the Ocean and solving social problems in the meantime.

Nikita sat down with me for an interview on the podcast (the interview will be posted within the next couple of weeks) to discuss how she has transformed the lives of Bahamian school children through a marine education program. Nikita made me aware that the current graduation rate of Bahamian school children was 50%; therefore, she decided to incorporate parts of the school children’s curriculum into her program to get them excited about learning about the Ocean and the subjects in school. The program is for 2 hours 3 days a week after school and 4 hours of Saturday. Since the programs start, crime in the local area has decreased significantly.   In fact, Nikita recently won an award for Youth Development in the Bahamas for her tremendous work with school children. As you can see, Nikita has transformed the lives of children in a positive way creating a generation of marine stewards to take care of the ocean.

Dr. Easkey Britton, Former Pro Surfer, Social Entrepreneur, and Marine Scientist building social change and marine awareness and protection through surfing.

Easkey was a plenary speaker at the end of the conference highlighting her accomplishments that she and her teams have accomplished over the past number of years. I also sat down with Easkey to talk about her most famous project that took place in Iran. Easkey and a fellow surfer traveled to Iran in search for surfing…and they fund more than just surfing. Easkey’s friend documented Easkey’s experience surfing in Iran covered head to toe in her wetsuit to respect the traditional garb).  The video went on You Tube and went viral within Iran. The large contingent of women who enjoyed outdoor sports immediately fell in love with the idea of surfing and soon Easkey found herself travelling back to Iran to teach women how to surf and bring together the people through surfing. The local village soon realized that they had to protect the water to which they were now connected by organizing beach clean ups to improve water quality. Easkey continues to witness a social and environmental change within the local village that has been historically oppressed. She hopes that the Iranians will come to integrate with the local village as more and more people turn to surfing as their recreational past time. Until then, she will continue to work with beginner surfers and arrange surfing equipment to be delivered to the area to get more people into the sport.

Dr. Michelle LaRue Conservation Biologist at the University of Minnesota specializing on conservation of iconic species such as emperor penguins, seals, cougar, and polar bears using satellite imagery.

Michelle was also one of the plenary speakers who talked about her research and her passion to integrate new technology with conservation biology. She is leading the way in understanding Antarctic and Arctic species distribution and population dynamics from afar. Why is this important? Well, have you ever traveled to the pole? It’s insanely expensive. Using satellite imagery along with field surveys proves to be more cost effective (in a field where constrained funding is strong!) and provides a good representation of where animals are going and why. Michelle uses her research to communicate science to public groups who are excited to learn more about the conservation of iconic species. Effective communication is important for research and conservation to gain a good hold in the public forum as that will move policy and make changes for a better environment (just look at what happened with Sea World after Blackfish came out!).

Each one of these women has created change through their passion to better understand the Ocean and create social change to protect the Ocean and the environment. It is truly difficult to NOT be inspired by the stories of these women and I look forward to watching them make more changes in the future.

They have already created a sense of change in my life and leading me down a path that I look forward to following in the future and implement the plans. I will let you know once I figured it out.

 

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10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean:

Direct download: SUFB_S193_4InspirationalPeopleInMarineConservation.mp3
Category:women in science -- posted at: 9:40am EDT

Plastic pollution in the Ocean is a worldwide epidemic affecting water quality and the health of Ocean species more than we already know. Over 100,000 marine mammals (whales, dolphins), sea turtles, seabirds and fish are killed each year by marine debris including plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is an Ocean issue that is not debated as other issues are (climate change) as it has been documented by many organizations and advocates who travel out to the Ocean Gyres (5 of them) to witness, take photographs and video the evidence of plastic pollution and the ocean; however, plastic pollution is a HUGE issue in the Oceans.

Plastics and other marine debris can be found on beaches and coastlines all over the world. They wash up from the ocean after floating around for years and they wash down the watershed from land-based sources eventually landing in the Ocean. In fact, nearly 45% of land-based trash comes from 5 countries in Asia; although, this doesn’t mean that other countries such as the Canada and the US aren’t adding to the plastic pollution problem. If this is such a big problem, then why do more people not know about it? There are many organizations out there such as Plastic Pollution Coalition, 5 Gyres, Environmental Defence Fund, Tangaroa Blue and the Ocean Conservancy that are raising awareness through research and awareness campaigns; however, it still seems that many people do not know of the problem with plastic pollution.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine here in Burlington, Ontario (Canada) tagged me in a Facebook post with a video about the plastic pollution and debris that travels through the storm sewers and into Lake Ontario. It was one storm sewer, but probably a common occurrence with many other sewer outfalls as well. He asked me who people could call and I mentioned that this wasn’t completely a government clean up problem (in Burlington, we have a sophisticated waste management system: compost, recycling and garbage with deleterious substances being thrown out at specific facilities). It’s not a perfect system, but it’s quite good in comparison to other cities around the world. I told my friend that the problem lies mostly with people and the way that we use and dispose of single use products. Plastic bags, plastic utensils, plastic containers, plastic water bottles are all part of the problem. These items are either dropped on the ground (people) or they are end up in the water from landfills (government).

It’s a problem that needs to be discussed within every community in every city. Government campaigns to make more people aware of the items that end up in their lake (or water body) and how they can reduce the use of those items coupled with regularly scheduled beach clean ups will help reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the lake and bring the community closer together.

I did an interview with Heidi Taylor of Tangaroa Blue, an organization that not only cleans up beaches, but works with industry to find alternative sustainable solutions to common items found in their beach clean ups along the east coast of Australia. Heidi and her organization recruits a team of citizen scientists to work with her team to clean up and enumerate the items found on a beach and use the database to make informed decisions and change policies.

There are some great organizations out there raising awareness, cleaning up beaches and working with government and industry partners to help reduce plastic pollution and other marine debris; however, more awareness is necessary. It’s a good thing the Speak Up For Blue team is all about raising awareness and has a growing podcast out to help spread the world. We found the perfect person to interview to help us in our mission.

Ocean Conservancy’s Nick Mallos, Director of their Trash Free Seas Alliance program, sat down with me at the International Marine Conservation Congress to answer a few questions about marine debris and how we can reduce/eliminate it.

Take a listen to the podcast and let us know what you think in the show notes.

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10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean: http://www.speakupforblue.com/wordpress/sufb_optinpdf

Direct download: SUFB_S192_TrashFreeSeasWithNickMallos.mp3
Category:plastic pollution -- posted at: 8:07pm EDT

The Jairo Mora award was announced at the International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada last week to increase the support to people working in developing countries where their right to protection in their job where their well being may be threatened. The award is named after Jairo Mora, a sea turtle conservation biologist who worked in Costa Rica to protect eggs from poachers and the nests from developers and tourists that may destroy the sites. 

Jairo was brutally murdered at the age of 26 while 3 of his female colleagues were beaten and raped for their role in hindering something people wanted to put forward (it is not clear whether Jairo was murdered over a development or due to drugs). 7 people were acquitted at the first trial due to a technicality; however, 4 of the 7 suspects were found guilty and sentenced for their part in the murders and rapes. 

The Society of Conservation Biology researched the matter further and found a report by Global Witness that stated nearly 1,000 conservation biologists were murdered between 2002 and 2014. The report does not account for the conservation biologists who where harassed, assaulted, or threatened during their efforts to protect the environment. 

This is an important podcast because the number of people murdered is staggering and much of the world does not know that these incidents occur on a regular basis.  Jairo's murder made news in Costa Rica, but it was because of the close nit Sea turtle Biologist community that news Jairo's murder was shared with the community. The news went mainstream being covered in National Geographic and other online publications; however, the Conservation community was shocked. 

Andrew Wright and Asha de Vos asked me if they could announce the Jairo Mora Award on the podcast because they wanted the Speak Up For Blue audience to know that the conservation community stands behind Jairo, his family, and all other conservation biologists who are threatened with harm, but continue to do their work because it matters to them and the environment.

I love in North America where I have a right to protection; to do my job without worrying about being hurt. I realize now that my colleagues in developing countries do not share that right. The award announced at the IMCC is a step forward in recognizing the women and men who make sacrifices to follow the same passion that all conservation biologists have are able to do their jobs. 

Other steps need to be taken in order to show more "inclusivity" within the conservation biology field. Asha points out that there is a view of North American conservation biologists thinking they are better than their developing world colleagues because they have more funding and resources available to them; however, that is not the case and more communication needs to be done to ensure that all conservation biologists feel equal and worthy of pursuing their passion.

This podcast episode is another step in the right direction; however, more needs to be done and it will be done with the help of us at Speak Up For Blue.

Please listen to this podcast to find out more about Jairo and the work we need to do with this wonderful field of conservation biology.

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Direct download: SUFB_S191_JairoMoralesAwardConservationSecurity.mp3
Category:Jairo Mora -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

Whale captivity has been a debated issue since the first orca was captured off the coast of Washington State; however, efforts to free wild caught and captive-bred orcas, belugas and dolphins have not been discussed in great detail...until this year.

Blackfish, a documentary film describing the multitude of problems Orcas face in captivity and the dangers it poses to humans, was a key catalyst in firing up the concept of releasing captive whales into Sea side Sanctuaries, but as of September 2015, the thought of Whale Sanctuaries was way in the distance. It wasn't until March of 2016 when the Conservation community truly thought that Whale Sanctuaries could be real. That was the time when Sea World stunned both the conservation community and the captive community when it said it would halt the breeding program in all of its facilities!

The announcement meant that there would not be another new orca added to Sea World systems again. YAY!!!

So what will happen to the orcas currently living in Sea World? According to Sea World, nothing...

The public has another idea and want to see orcas and other marine mammals retired to the sea. In fact, a company called Munchkin, had an owner who was against whale captivity. So much so, that he decided to provide the seed funding for a Whale Sea-Side Sanctuary for captive orcas. 

Naomi Rose, who is a marine mammal biologist expert at the Animal Welfare Institute, returned to the podcast to give us the details on the propose Whale Sea-Side Sanctuary. If you want to know how the sanctuary will work, Listent.To.This.Episode!

 

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Direct download: SUFB_S190_WhaleSeaSideSantuariesWithNaomiRose.mp3
Category:orca -- posted at: 3:55pm EDT

Nathan and I are finally here at the International Marine Conservation Congress where we will be networking with old and new colleagues, talking science, and interviewing scientists and conservationists who do everything they can to understand and protect the Ocean. 

We decided to talk about our first day at the conference and discuss the sessions we attended including how there was quite a bit of focus on social marketing for marine science and conservation. This focus was a bit of a surprise because you never hear about this type of work being presented at conferences. The common message of the talks were to choose a target audience and include emotion in messages to said target audience. 

Nathan wondered into a great session delegates were telling stories from the field on stage for other delegates and the public. It was quite interesting and entertaining.

Our last session was to attend a poster session where there were over 50 poster presentations, along with food and drinks. It was a great way to engage with people from all over the world and talk about their projects.

We plan on conducting some interviews throughout the week that we will be adding to our Interview Wednesdays for a while. It's a great way to meet new people!

So stay tuned!

Join the Arbonne Blue Team

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10 Ocean Tips to Conserve the Ocean: http://www.speakupforblue.com/wordpress/sufb_optinpdf

Direct download: SUFB_S189_IMCC4DAY1.mp3
Category:IMCC -- posted at: 7:30am EDT

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